Residents and an aid group say that the storm killed a lot of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
Cyclone Mocha hit Myanmar over the weekend and killed a lot of Rohingya Muslims, residents, a rescue group, and a media outlet said on Tuesday. The storm caused a lot of damage and made it hard to get to many places.
Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine State was hit the hardest by Sunday’s storm, which brought winds of up to 210 kph (130 mph) and ripped roofs off homes. It also caused a storm surge that flooded the state capital, Sittwe.
Partners, a non-government organization that helps people in need, said on Twitter that they had heard from people on the ground that there were many deaths and injuries. It put up a video that showed the harm.
Reuters could not confirm the number of deaths on its own. On Monday, Myanmar’s state media said that three people had been killed.
In another post on Twitter, Partners said, “We’re stepping up our efforts to help Rohingya communities hit by Cyclone Mocha as much as we can with essential supplies like rice and tarps.”
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya live in the western part of Myanmar. They are a persecuted minority that no government has ever recognized. More than a million people who have left military crackdowns in recent years now live in huge camps in Bangladesh, which is right next door.
Residents told the news site Myanmar Now that 22 Rohingya were killed.
Myanmar’s state media didn’t talk about deaths on Tuesday, but they did say that junta leader Min Aung Hlaing went to Sittwe to look at the damage, give money, and give orders on how to help.
About 400,000 people in Myanmar and Bangladesh left their homes before the storm hit on Sunday.
Before the storm, the UN humanitarian office (OCHA) said that about 6 million people in the area already needed help, including 1.2 million people who had to move because of ethnic strife.
A person who lives in the area but didn’t want to be named out of fear for their safety told Reuters that more than 100 Rohingya people were killed, based on reports from various villages he said he visited after the attack.
“So many people are also missing because of the storm,” he said. “No one has helped us so far.”
Two other people who Reuters talked to said that a lot of people had died, and a diplomatic person who knew about the situation but didn’t give details said the same thing.
The storm was one of the worst since 2008, when Cyclone Nargis killed almost 140,000 people in parts of southern Myanmar.